Just the other day I posted about how I come up with (what I think) are great pet projects to work on, but never spend the time to finish them. One that I’d really like to do and finish up is my Family Portal … maybe I can shoot for Christmas as delivery to my family… then again, I did that was last year’s plan. I also started, but abandoned a Digital Photo Studio WinForm app a year ago… too many products out there that do that already.
Well, I have a new project idea… and this is one that I could use right away… specifically for work, but can be for anything. I call it the Developer’s Assistant. What is that? As a developer, I use newsgroups, developer blogs, tech site articles, and other bits and pieces to do research and get the latest and greatest news about my profession. I use Outlook 2003 for email & tasks, OneNote 2003 to take notes for meetings, personal notes, and project ToDo lists, NewsGator to subscribe to blogs, w.Blogger to post blogs (although I am posting this on my 30-day trial of BlogJet ), Outlook Express to post/watch USENET posts, and MSDN’s web reader or Google’s web reader to research other USENET posts. Oh, did I forget about the tech articles? I print those with my PDFWriter or MS Office Document Image Writer and stick them in a single folder so I can search with XP. Newsgroups are the biggest source of research and free support for a developer if you ask me. What sucks is when you’re on a network that blocks NNTP.
See where I’m going with this? Frankly, that’s a royal PITA when I need to find something… and I fully expect a TON to fall through the cracks. I want ONE TOOL for this. Now, I don’t want to replace Outlook or OneNote… they have their niche. I’d love an app that would:
- downloads USENET newsgroups
- downloads RSS/ATOM blog feeds / subscriptions
- add full articles or text or code snippets (like a ‘blog this’ option in the systray
- categorise anything and everything… with smart categorisation
- keyword watches (for content, or by field like watch everything from X person)
- specific post watches
- automatically download USENET, RSS/ATOM feeds, and optionally EMAIL (with the option to leave on the server)
- optional web service communication passthrough (for those systems that block EMAIL or NNTP)
- smart NNTP poster (automatically watches all my posts)
- WYSIWYG blog poster
- notification/remider service: set schedules or reminders on keywords or articles and posts
- Solve my personal issue of having all this info tied to a single PC… need a way to say “sync” with a remote server (phase 2)
That’s it for now. It’s something that I’m definitely interested in getting outside help on… need to write a complete feature list though.
Will I ever write this one? Maybe… sure hope so… it would damn sure help with my job.
*** UPDATE: A few months ago, I posted about something similar . Someone emailed me with a post to an app that did something similar… but it was expensive and didn’t do everything I needed… wasn’t much of an upgrade.